Guidelines for Writing Great Thank-You Letters
It's always a good idea to take the time to say thank you to everyone who has helped you job hunt. Whether it's a formal letter or a quick email thank-you message, your appreciation will be welcomed by the recipient. Whether you are writing a thank-you letter to an interviewer, to someone who wrote you a letter of recommendation, or to a connection who provided you with career guidance, there are a few guidelines you should follow when writing your letters or emails.
Thank-You Letter Writing Guidelines
Length: Keep your letter concise; a thank you letter should be less than one page long.
Font and Size: If you type your thank-you letter, use a traditional font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri. Your font size should be between 10 and 12 points.
Format: If you type your thank-you letter, it should be single-spaced with a space between each paragraph. Use 1” margins and align your text to the left (the alignment for most business documents). Format your letter using the standard guidelines for writing thank you letters.
Accuracy: Be sure to edit your letter before mailing it. Show it to a friend or career counselor if you want someone else to check it over for you.
Email or Handwritten Thank-You Letters: If you are writing a thank-you letter for a job interview, and know that the company is making its hiring decision quickly, you can send a thank-you email. However, if you have the time, you can type or handwrite a thank-you letter and mail it. If you do handwrite your letter, write it on a generic thank-you card (nothing too silly or elaborate).
When to Send a Thank-You Letter: If possible, send a thank-you letter within 24 hours of a job interview. If you are writing a thank-you letter for a recommendation or career advice, the thank-you letter is less urgent, but should still be written as soon as possible.
How to Organize a Thank-You Letter for an Interview
Header: Your letter should begin with both you and the employer's contact information (name, title, company name, address, phone number, email) followed by the date. If this is an email rather than an actual letter, include your contact information at the end of the letter, after your signature.
Salutation: Address the letter to your interviewer. Use his or her formal title ("Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. XYZ). If you forget his name or how to spell it, contact his office and request the proper spelling of his name.
Paragraph 1: Thank the employer for taking the time to interview you. You can also include any positive impressions you had about the company.
Paragraph 2: Explain why you are an excellent candidate for the position. Mention your specific skills or experiences.
Paragraph 3: If you forgot to mention anything about your qualifications during the interview, mention them in this paragraph.
Paragraph 4: Once again, thank the employer for interviewing you. Tell her you look forward to hearing back from her soon about the position.
Close: Use a formal signoff, such as "Sincerely" or "Best Regards."
Signature: End with your signature, handwritten, followed by your typed name. If this is an email, simply include your typed name, followed by your contact information.
How to Organize a Thank-You Letter for Job Search Assistance
Header: Your letter should begin with both you and the person’s contact information (name, title, company name, address, phone number, email) followed by the date. If this is an email rather than an actual letter, include your contact information at the end of the letter, after your signature.
Salutation: Address the letter the person you are writing to. Use his or her formal title ("Dear Mr./Mrs./Dr. XYZ) unless you are close friends with the person. If you're friends, it's fine to use his or her first name.
Paragraph 1: Thank the person for his assistance in your job search.
Paragraph 2: Explain how his assistance has been particularly helpful (i.e. “Thanks in large part to your letter of recommendation, I was offered the job at XYZ Company.”)
Paragraph 3: Express your appreciation for his generosity. If you want, say that you would love to return the favor and assist him in any way.
Close: Use a kind but formal signoff, such as "Sincerely" or "Best Regards."
Signature: End with your signature, handwritten, followed by your typed name. If this is an email, simply include your typed name, followed by your contact information. If you know the person who helped you well, you can simply use your first name in your signature.
Thank-You Letter Example
City, State Zip Code
City, State Zip Code
Dear Mr./Ms. Lastname:
Thank you so much for your donation of two gift baskets for the silent auction that will be part of our gala fundraiser at the end of the month.
I’m sure our guests will be intrigued by the combination of goodies in each basket and have no that doubt that they will get several bids. All proceeds will be used for scholarships.
In addition, I want to thank you for purchasing four tickets for the event. I’ve enclosed the tickets with this letter. Once again, thank you so much for the wonderful donation, and I look forward to seeing you on the evening of the 27th.
Your Signature (hard copy letter)